Västervik: A Slice of Nordic Peace in Southern Sweden
Beyond glinting lakes, red summer cottages, postcard-perfect views and cozy cafés serving traditional “fika,” there's not much to Västervik. While everyone's heard of the Greek islands, fewer know about the natural pleasures of the island chain around this tiny hamlet in the province of Småland in southern Sweden.
A popular vacation spot for Swedes and Europeans, Västervik is a slice of Nordic peace that attracts boaters and a maritime crowd in the summer months. From June through August, ferries ply the 5,000-island archipelago that fans out from its harbor. In the watery world that surrounds it, secluded bathing spots, hiking trails, cozy pensions and restaurants serving locally caught fish and other dishes of the region attract a summer holiday crowd.
On islands like Idӧ, visitors can swim, sunbathe, paddle kayaks, climb to the top of a pilot lookout tower, go on safari for seals, and search the skies for soaring eagles. At the top of a towering cliff, reward yourself for the climb with local specialties like schnitzel and salmon, washed down with Swedish beer, at popular Idӧ Skargardskrog (Archipelago) restaurant.